Geronimo EKA: Magic words that Obama was waiting to hearMay 3rd, 2011 - 11:09 am ICT by IANS
Washington, May 3 (IANS) “Geronimo EKIA.” That was the terse message that US President Barack Obama was tensely waiting to hear.
It meant that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed, The New York Times reported.
The code name for Bin Laden was “Geronimo” and EKIA stood for Enemy Killed In Action.
As Leon E. Panetta, the CIA director, made the dramatic announcement, there was silence in the Situation Room in the White House Sunday night.
Finally, the president spoke.
“We got him.”
Osama bin Laden was killed in a top secret operation by the US’ Navy SEALS in Abbottabad in Pakistan.
Obama and his advisers had been watching Panetta on a video screen in the Situation Room, narrating from his agency’s headquarters what was happening in faraway Pakistan.
Panetta kept them posted on every move by the crack commandos.
“They’ve reached the target,” he said.
“We have a visual on Geronimo,” he said.
And then a few minutes later: “Geronimo EKIA.”
Administration officials were split over whether to launch the operation, whether to wait and continue monitoring until they were more sure that bin Laden was really there, or whether to go for a less risky bombing assault.
In the end, President Obama opted against a bombing that could do so much damage it might be uncertain whether bin Laden was really hit and chose to send in commandos. A “fight your way out” option was built into the plan, with two helicopters following the two main assault copters as backup in case of trouble.
On Sunday afternoon, as the helicopters raced over Pakistani territory, the president and his advisers gathered in the Situation Room to monitor the operation as it unfolded.
Much of the time was spent in silence.
Obama looked “stone faced”, one aide said.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. fingered his rosary beads. “The minutes passed like days,” recalled John O. Brennan, the White House counterterrorism chief.
- When 'Geronimo EKIA' meant: 'We got him' (Lead) - May 03, 2011
- Obama didn't see bin-Laden die: CIA Director Panetta - May 04, 2011
- Sharing intel with ISI would have jeopardised 'Operation Geronimo': CIA chief - May 04, 2011
- Bin Laden mission was a big gamble for Obama: official - May 04, 2011
- Geronimo descendant asks for apology - May 09, 2011
- No silver bullet to destroy Al Qaeda: Panetta - Apr 28, 2012
- Memo documents Obama's order to get Osama - Apr 27, 2012
- White House backtracks, admits Osama was 'unarmed' when killed by US troops - May 04, 2011
- Sitting in White House, Obama watched Osama die - May 03, 2011
- Countdown to Osama's end - May 02, 2011
- Osama resisted assault, was shot in the head - May 02, 2011
- Osama was unarmed but killed as he resisted, says US (Lead) - May 04, 2011
- Countdown to Osama bin Laden's end (Lead, with fresh matter) - May 02, 2011
- Native Americans up in arms over calling Osama 'Geronimo' - May 04, 2011
- Obama, others' went through 'anxiety-filled periods' watching Osama getting killed - May 03, 2011
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